Empowering girls through tech and innovation

June 16, 2017 | GET MORE : Social Responsibility

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U.S. Bank sponsored six teams participating in Technovation, a worldwide competition in which girls identify problems in their community and code apps to solve them.

Sometimes to learn what the future holds, you have to talk to the future. That's exactly what members of U.S. Bank's innovation team did through a partnership with Technovation[MN].

Technovation is a national nonprofit focused on teaching middle and high school aged girls how to create apps as part of a state, regional and national competition. At U.S. Bank, we challenged six teams of girls from Minnesota to help us think of how we might create a fun app experience that teaches kids to save and spend in a fun and entertaining way. Teams, made up of three or four girls each, realized the problem, came up with a prototype for a solution and then brought those ideas to life via apps. U.S. Bank President and CEO Andy Cecere, Chief Innovation Officer Dominic Venturo and Head of Omnichannel Gareth Gaston were on hand as the 30 middle-school girls invaded the U.S. Bank corporate board room to present their apps.

"We learned so much from these girls," said Stephanie Hammes-Betti, marketing innovation manager for U.S. Bank. "They used design methodology to solve problems through the use of technology and were excited to see the immediate interaction with the outcome of the apps they created. They are smart beyond their years. If they can use code to solve things today, what will they be able to do 10 years from now? The insights we gleaned from the various ways they approached financial education issues were very informative and will help us shape how we meet the needs of our customers through technology and innovation."

The girls then competed at Appapalooza at the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Minnesota state-wide judging competition, and although they all did awesome, none of the teams advanced to the national judging.

Susan Beatty is a member of U.S. Bank's communications team.